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Solitaire Hardcover – September 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Eos; 1st edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060088575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060088576
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,293,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ren Segura, Jackal to her friends, is the Hope of Ko Island, the world's only corporate nation state. Born at the right time, she is part of an elite group that will inherit powerful positions representing their nations in EarthGov. She has been groomed for the moment of her ascension her entire life--it is her birthright and her destiny. But a deadly secret makes her an inconvenient liability to her corporate masters and, in Solitaire, destinies are not always in the cards. Caught between corporate loyalty and self-doubt, Jackal finds herself cast away to an experimental, virtual solitary confinement program that will change her forever.

Author Kelley Eskridge's first novel is an intense and powerful tale of self-discovery set in a convincingly articulated future. She skillfully keeps the reader turning pages as Jackal's fate unravels. Meanwhile, Eskridge deals with issues of crime and punishment, corporate power, and even fame with a deft touch that keeps the reader painfully close to the young Jackal's journey into oblivion and back again. --Jeremy Pugh

From Publishers Weekly

This near-future debut novel tries hard, but doesn't quite amalgamate its ambitious themes. Twenty-two years earlier, the first Earth Congress declared all children born in the first second of the new year "Hopes," living privileged symbols of the new one-world order. The Hope of Ko, a vast corporate conglomerate, is Ren Segura, who chose the call name "Jackal" for the animal's terrifying wail, a self-pitying cry that sums up this uneven character-driven novel. Though Jackal is promising at project managing and facilitating, Ko maneuvers her into causing the deaths of her "web," her closest friends. Forced by Ko to make a deal to save her parents from disgrace, Jackal accepts virtual confinement, an experimental extension of Garbo, the VR project Jackal had previously been tapped to oversee. Experiencing years of solitary in only a few "real" months, Jackal emerges exiled to a nameless city, beset by flashbacks to her punishment and by interviews with an Orwellian interrogator/parole officer. This novel self-consciously seethes with anger and frustration at society's inability to ensure justice to the accused, rehabilitate the convicted, reassimilate the outcast and heal the hurt. Eskridge's solution to all these eternal social ails is conventional in message, though selective in execution: the redemptive power of individual in this case lesbian love. Overextended in feverish description, overwrought in its self-absorbed tone, this case study of the postadolescent psyche seems most, like its heroine, to really "vant to be alone." (Sept. 18) Forecast: An established writer of short fiction, Eskridge has garnered blurbs from the likes of Ursula K. Le Guin, Tim Powers and Vonda M. McIntyre. Whatever its faults, this first novel is likely to generate plenty of buzz as well as sales, supported by author appearances in the Northwest.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

If you love Fantasy and Science Fiction I would recomend this to you.
Jim
All in all, Solitaire is a very engaging book, with a well developed story, memorable characters, and a fast paced plot line, despite the years spent in VC.
Ryan R. Whitley
Forced to continue this lie, Jackal hides the truth as best she can, but a tragic catastrophe destroys her world and her identity as a Hope.
"blissengine"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Megan VINE VOICE on September 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Jackal Segura is an overachieving teenager living and working under the auspices of the massive Ko Corporation. She is destined by her birthdate to become a Hope - a symbolic leader of the new World Government. She has a lover, a circle of friends, and a bright future - until a horrific accident turns her into a mass murderer. She is sentenced to forty years in prison, until an ironic choice is offered her - she can trade her sentence for participation in an experimental treatment based on Ko technology. Jackal will spend eight years locked in solitary Virtual Confinement within her own mind, while ten months of "real time" passes in the outside world.

Despite the overwhelming impact of her time in mental prison, very little space is actually appointed to Jackal's eight year solitude. This is a disappointment, given that the book is not overly long and more time could easily have been spent with Jackal in Solitary without sacrificing any of what comes after. The unique nature of Jackal's confinement - which becomes very different from what her jailors originally intended - is just not explored fully enough, in my opinion.

What does come after, however, is what kept me reading. Jackal is forcibly relocated to a North American slum, where she is supported by Ko hush money since no one will hire her. She finds herself in the company of other notorious mass murderers (most of them female), even engaging in a dangerous flirtation with one. Most importantly, she finds Solitaire - a bar/nightclub designed to cater to "solos" - former VC inmates - and the cult of adoring fans that has sprung up around them.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ryan R. Whitley on March 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have finished reading Kelley Eskridge's Solitaire, and it was one of the best books I have read recently. Actually, I have been on a string of good books, and this one just happens to continue the trend. It features a young heroine, named Ren "Jackal" Segura. In the slightly futuristic world developed by Eskridge, Jackal is what is known as a "Hope". A "Hope" is someone born as the pre-designated time, in this case, the first second of the new year. Each pseudo-national entity has a "Hope" and Jackal is the "Hope" of Ko, the multi-national supercorporation that rules over the island of Hong Kong. Other pseduo-national entities include the NNA, Nations of North America. Sorry, Canada, looks like you got assimilated after all. When Jackal finds out her status as a "Hope" is a lie, she is devastated, but she keeps the secret and maintains the facade. Then, tragedy strikes. In a horrifying accident, 437 persons, including important senators as well as Jackal's best friends are killed and Jackal is blamed for the murders. Charged with 437 counts or murder and international terrorism, Jackal is sentenced to life imprisonment. She cuts a deal though and agrees to partake in an experimental program called Virtual Confinement, VC. Using electrodes hooked to the brain and a drug induced coma-like state, Jackal's mind will believe that she is spending 10 years in solitary confinement with absolutely no human contact, no amenities, and no way out. In reality, she will only be knocked out for eight months. During that time of VC, Jackal must confront her own inner demons, determine how she will survive and not go insane, figure out how to deal with the loved ones in her mind and generally come up with ways to pass the time.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Glover on July 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is different. But it details life in the near future as if it is ordinary and everyone understands exactly what and how things came to be. There are no retrospective explanations, about the origins of EarthGov, the rise of Ko Corporation, or the Nations of North America. They simply are. Our hero, and she is a hero, has a love relationship with another woman which is presented in a perfectly ordinary tone. The sex of one's partner is not the issue, just their commitment to each other. Solitaire is a book about one person's journey to realize her destiny, and we only see it through her. Ultimately, her personal choices will effect many, many people.
A difficult read, this book is fresh and new and a bit familar at the same time. The use of the VR technology for virtual confinment of long-term prisoners was inventive. The technology described a la Total Recall, is a way to make people experience time in a good or bad environment without going anywhere. It takes three-fourths of the book to get through the crime and punishment experienced by Jackal. The real story is in the aftermath, the coming to terms with life after 6 years being totally alone with absolutely no human contact, no human sounds, no pictures, nothing. I was challenged and haunted by this story. This is not a read for the beach in August. It was intense and absorbing and complete. This one is a keeper to return to again and again.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark W. Tiedemann on November 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
There's a formula for writing thrillers which includes a clearcut baddy and a close to noble hero or heroine. The action unfolds in a taught ascension of perilous event until the climcatic confrontation and conclusion. Reliable, especially for movies, and the occasional light read. But if you want some depth in your literature, there's only one word for this kind of work.
Boring.
More difficult and less common is the thriller based on the way in which real life actually happens. Regardless of the fantastic elements, adehrence to the truths of human nature fuels the conflicts, which are more often than not ambiguous, with hero and villain sharing one common trait--they both think they're the good guy, if they think about it in those terms at all. The frustrations that arise out of trying to sort through the suddenly murky options make such stories both real and infinitely satisfying.
The best of these also possess a strong narrative flow and a superbly conceived story. "Solitaire" takes the lead on all counts. I find it hard to believe this is a first novel--it has all the polish and panache of a savvy, experienced novelist. Makes me hunger for Eskridge's next foray.
Buy it, read it, recommend it.
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